Fruit trees are best planted in the tree’s dormant season (October to March). The earlier the better as the soil is more likely to be workable.
You will need; soil improver ( Westland tree and shrub compost), bonemeal, mycorrizal soil stimulant (optional), a stake and tie, a rabbit /squirrel guard for the lower trunk.
- Water the tree well in its pot.
- Dig the hole about a bit larger than the pot all round and to the approximate depth of the pot.
- Mix the soil which has been dug from the hole with soil improver and sprinkle with a handful of bone meal.
- Hammer in the stake before the tree is planted to avoid damaging the rootball. Stakes are usually best put in at a diagonal angle.
- Add a small layer of soil improver to the hole and sprinkle in some bone meal. Add the mychorizal root stimulant at this stage, if using.
- Take the tree out of its pot and place in the hole. Ensure the soil level is the same as it was when in the pot. It is very important that the union between the rootstock and the apple variety is clearly above the ground. This union looks like a ridge around the trunk.
- Firm the soil around the tree.
- Secure the tree to the stake using a tree-tie.
- Water well.
Keep the newly planted tree watered in dry periods for the first couple of years.
Apple trees are native the United Kingdom and consequently are usually able to overcome minor pests and diseases through a natural balance.
There are good products available to prevent problems. In Patrick’s Patch you can see the apple trees have grease applied around the trunks to prevent winter moth infestation. You can also see codling moth traps and a winter wash is applied annually.
We recommend applying a rose fertilizer around the base of fruit trees in the early spring.
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